Monday, June 30, 2008

Memos From God to Himself: Cosmic Continuity and Deuscontinuity

At further risk of tawdry-sounding self-promotion, I want to get back to what I was saying the other day about how the chapters of my book are simultaneously discontinuous (indeed, like any other book) and continuous (like no other book of which I am aware, but I'm sure there must be at least one!). The purpose of this, don't you know, was to emphasize the fact that the universe is obviously One, and yet, diverse in ways for which science can never account, for reasons that are principial, not contingent.

And again, this wouldn't pose a such a deep philosophical problem if the discontinuity were simply dispersed "outwardly" in a purely horizontal manner. There would still be the problem of how it is possible for discrete wholes manifesting internal relations (and therefore interiority) to arise, but that is simply none other than "existence," for to exist is to manifest as a relatively autonomous and definable whole, or a part in relation to the Whole. In other words, if you are not a discrete and identifiable whole, then you are simply merged with your surroundings and don't really ex-ist.

But our cosmos has the baffling property of vertical discontinuity, of "ontological leaps" to entirely different modes of being, e.g., Bupkis-->Matter-->Life-->Mind-->Spirit-->Meta-bupkis (there are others, but those are the big ones). In fact, this weekend I happened across a passage by Schuon, who wrote that "When all is said and done there are only three miracles: existence, life, intelligence." And "with intelligence, the curve springing from God closes on itself, like a ring which in reality has never been parted from the Infinite.”

So you see, there is one of those quotes I was mentioning that also justify the circular structure of the book (for when Schuon uses the word "intelligence," he means it in terms of the higher intellect in its "uncreated" mode; as such, he's ultimately talking about the metacosmic journey that begins with creatio ex nihilo and ends in egobliteration and therefore cosmonihilation back to the One. So you could actually say that there are only two miracles: Existence and Redemption; or perhaps just one miracle, Redemption.

So “in reality," writes Schuon, "if God is the ‘omega,’ He is of necessity also the ‘alpha,” on pain of absurdity. The cosmos is a ‘message from God to Himself by Himself.’”

Either that, or we could adopt the scientistic view, which necessarily regards the cosmos as "a message from matter to itself by itself." But of course, this begs the question of how matter can have the capacity to encode any messages at all, for doesn't the capacity to do so transcend the properties of matter? Furthermore, wouldn't "knowing" this be reducible to matter, and therefore, stupidity?

Yes. This pernicious error goes by the name of "the invincible stupidity of the Lizards," or "the eternal religion of the kosbags," and is the "false circle" that unites the shrill extremes of left and right wing. (Again, LGF is not a conservative blog, but a right wing one; and kos is obviously not a liberal blog, but a leftist one, and left and right necessarily meet on the horizontal plane, since both deny transcendence a priori).

Again: the True Unbroken Circle -- which is esoterically symbolized by the ring-tailed Raccoon with "circles 'round the eyes" -- is the Open Spiral that is grounded in the Alpha and Omega that we call -- not coincidentally -- O (for this "O" is open, among other properties).

Now, the material world is made of "impermanence," or ceaseless change, while the intellect is made of timeless Truth, which is its "substance." But this ceaseless material change has a ground of transcendent permanence, otherwise we could not understand the change, any more than one can determine which of two bodies is moving in a two-body system. For example, it would be impossible to say if the sun were revolving around the earth or vice versa unless we could view the situation from a "higher third," transcendent position.

Likewise, we could not know the four-dimensional Adventure of Consciousness (i.e., evolution) if we were not capable of stepping outside of it and viewing it "from above." If you don't believe me, I suggest that you consult your pet monkey on the matter, and see what he has to say (or throw).

One might pose the question as follows: if human beings had never existed, would Darwinism still be "true?" (And please bear in mind that Darwinists are quite insistent on the point that the emergence of human beings was wholly random, to such an extent that if the "film" of evolution could be "replayed," it would never have resulted in humans.)

In other words, the question comes down to this: does truth "evolve?" Or, is it merely a result of evolution? If so, it cannot really be truth, since it is a wholly contingent thing in a wholly contingent cosmos: remember, in the scientistic cosmos, humans are just adam & evesdropping on matter having an intrinsically stupid conversation with itself. Needless to say, the question of transcendent or eternal "truth" doesn't enter the equation.

But it is precisely here where religion enters the picture to save these pompous asses from themselves, for religion is none other than an awareness of the Absolute shining through the relative, or eternity "within" time (for it is actually the converse i.e., time as an intrinsic property of timelessness), and Truth amidst appearances. Again, in the open spiral, appearances are struggling back up to Truth, so to speak, whereas in the closed horizontal cosmos of scientism, appearances are merely revealing other appearances, which is no revelation at all, just a double deception. It is what we call "scientistic insanity," for it is just a very elaborate and circuitous way of going nowhere except closer to tenure.

I don't know about you, but when I talk about Truth, I am talking either about the Absolute, or about something that makes no sense unless it is "in the light of the Absolute," so to speak. Thus, the "relative truths" of science are certainly permitted, so long as it is understood that these truths can never be justified on their own level, but only with the implicit understanding that no rational discourse is possible in the absence of the Intelligible Whole that sponsors all real knowledge and knowing -- which are in turn reflections of the exterior and interior of this Whole, respectively.

Let's take, oh, the Buddha. He was quite certain that he was revealing eternal truth when he declared that attachment to the impermanent was the source of suffering. This is not an "evolved truth," much less a truth that will somehow be transcended or gotten around with further "evolution." Rather, once again, this truth is the saving presence of the Absolute within the relative.

Or when Jesus says, "I am the Way, the Door, the Life," he most assuredly did not mean to add the qualifier, "until something better comes along." No. For he is talking about the Way back to the Absolute, the vertical Door, or passageway that miraculously abides here in the horizontal, and the eternal, nonlocal Life of which biology is a mere local property.

Another way of saying it is that God is the immutable center around which mutable appearances "rotate" like planets around the central sun. When we are aware of the Sun's light, it is not so much a matter of "straining" to see it, but simply removing the obstacles, clouds, or impurities that obscure it. Which is why the Eternal Vocation of the humble Raccoon is simply "cleaning windows." But as I keep trying to remind our trolls, I don't do installations.

To be discontinuously continued....

What's my line?
I'm a working man in my prime
Cleaning windows...
--Van Morrison, Cleaning Windows

58 Comments:

Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Liberals are more envious, angrier, more stingy, less generous, less honest, whinier, less intelligent, and more uninformed than conservatives. But you knew that already.

6/30/2008 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

I was doing a bit of light reading in the wee small hours this morning. From the The Spiritual Ascent's intro to the chapter on Rununciation-Detachment:

"...the more a person can dispense with the world, the less it can dispense with him, - for the center can dispense with the periphery, whereas a periphery without a center - manifested or unmanifested - is a sheer impossibility."

6/30/2008 09:04:00 AM  
Anonymous christopher said...

Memos from God to Himself.

Yes indeed, and yet there is purpose to our individuality. I feel it so beyond doubt. God "needs" us. He chooses to need us. He might not "have to" need us, but so He has chosen. So this thing is circular (spiral) but with endless momentary and autonomous variation.

I think of the Christian use of the term "witness", which means something active and in the world. To me there is a quality like that in my place in the world. Racoons wash windows not only for themselves but for others and for God, who "needs" the vantage point, the indeterminate number of vantage points with which He Witnesses the cosmos. I am, He is the Witness.

As for me, I have a more personal sidebar. I am not only Witness but on a personal journey by permission, or so it seems to me. It is a foolish thing undertaken by a foolish man, or perhaps it is just God in Coyote nature dancing with me.

In any case my situation is hopeless but not serious, even though I would choose a more profound outcome.

It slides another way though and here yet another Christian image, Jacob wrestles with the angel. He will not let go, is struck in a sinew and lamed, a Holy wound. My argument with God has been like that, arguing, demanding and getting Blessing. But at a price.

These are stories, beyond proof, yet True in the deepest sense in the Cosmos where the vertical and horizontal intersect, where the music comes from.

6/30/2008 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

"...this begs the question of how matter can have the capacity to encode any messages at all, for doesn't the capacity to do so transcend the properties of matter?"

There's a reason why it's called an astonishing hypothesis. But it does have a lot of evidence going for it.

6/30/2008 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

But of course, this begs the question of how matter can have the capacity to encode any messages at all, for doesn't the capacity to do so transcend the properties of matter? Furthermore, wouldn't "knowing" this be reducible to matter, and therefore, stupidity?

No, you don't understand. Randomness is really not non-directional. If something is random enough for long enough then it looks like it's not random because it becomes constrained by its progressive randomness. But we can figure that out, even though we're random, too.

I previewed or Ray would really have gotten a dose of syncOOnicity

My nephew married a girl named Chantz. I don't think he would have married her if she had been random. But she would not have married him if she hadn't been blind.

6/30/2008 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

BTW - Just out of curiosity. Republicans took over the presidency and both wings of Congress just a few election cycles ago.

Then they've managed things so badly, they've lost those majorities in both the House and the Senate, and things aren't looking good for the upcoming elections. (To the point where Republican candidates are scrambling not to be identified as 'Republican'.)

Imagine if someone had told you on September 12th, 2001 that within eight years, the Republican party would be so unpopular that there was a very strong possibility that someone named Barack Hussein Obama could be elected President.

So, the variation on "If you're so rich, why ain't you smart?" If Republicans are objectively better than Democrats... how could they make themselves that unpopular?

6/30/2008 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Because they quit acting like Republicans -- Medicare drug benefit, Campaign Finance Reform, attempted amnesty.

Along with a little help from the media liberals.

On the other hand, if the Democrat Congress is so smart how come gas is double what it was in '06?

And one more complaint about mistakes, if I had been president (you have something to thank God for), directions to places like Fallujah would include, "Actually, it's much easier to find after dark."

6/30/2008 09:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Wizard said...

Ray,

Well, here's author and Ph.D research engineer at Pharmacia (Mike Alexander) who thinks we entered a liberal era in 2001 (as of the date of the article in November 29, 2004).

http://www.safehaven.ca/article-2274.htm

"A successful political party or movement takes about 15 years to define its agenda, mobilize its resources, implement its policies as best it can, and obtain the inevitably less-than-hoped-for results [2]. This movement proceeds through several fairly predictable stages: growth and vitality under a charismatic leader, a period of mature leadership, and then a gradual decline as supporters tire of the message. With decline, the baton of leadership passes to the opposition. The result would be alternating periods of ascendancy that should last about 15 years."

6/30/2008 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

"If Republicans are objectively better than Democrats... how could they make themselves that unpopular?"

Simple. Elected Republicans, by and large, are not conservative. They tend to take for granted that they will receive support from the conservative base by virtue of the (R) after their name, and they of course want to gain support from the other side of the aisle. This backfires, by virtue of the fact that so long as they identify as Republican the leftists will loathe them no matter how much they pander and cave in the name of compromise, and the conservative base ends up being deeply betrayed by those who are supposed to represent them. For instance, I don't know of any conservative who is happy at the thought of a McCain presidency (Rachel Lucas's "F*ck it! McCain '08" bumper stickers being a good example) - in fact, as an Arizonan I vowed that I'd never vote for that man. But this year I'm going to swallow my pride and do it anyway, because the alternative is too depressing to contemplate. The next few years are looking to be tough for this country no matter who's in charge, but it'll be a lot tougher as an Obamination than as a McCain-led nation.

6/30/2008 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Hear, hear, Mushroom.

Ray, check if you’re confusing Republican with Conservative.
Let me add this: libs may delight in conservatives’ dissatisfaction with McCain but for completely different reasons than why they don’t like him. In other words, he’s too conservative for them and not enough for true conservatives.

6/30/2008 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Oh, and Ray - those first two links? Interesting, sure. But they do nothing to disprove the existence of a soul, nor do they demonstrate that randomness can produce meaning.

6/30/2008 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Mushroom,

"On the other hand, if the Democrat Congress is so smart how come gas is double what it was in '06?"

I can answer that one - because they want it to be. By taking measures to guarantee that gas prices remain high (through taxation and limited production), they can directly affect how much driving people will do, and since driving is bad (m'kay..), because it pollutes the environment (m'kay...), they know that what's best for us is to bike, or use mass transit, or telecommute. They pay lip service to wanting to lower gas prices, but their actions demonstrate that that's not what they really want at all.

6/30/2008 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

On the subject of miracles, I think back when I was a skeptic(?)...the miracles’apparent “illogic” occupied a significant part of my pointy-headed stumbling block. I suppose I assumed miracles would require a temporary suspension of the laws of physics. Why should this be so, I think now? The three “continuous” miracles, or “existing” miracles Schuon mentions, do not require a suspension of the laws of physics.

If a clockmaker repairs a clock, does the act of repairing it require a temporary suspension of the same laws that keep it in motion?

In fact it seems more likely that miracles are inevitable or unavoidable; required even of the laws of physics. If they are in fact linked to them in any way, I wonder, does this mean they may be codependent in a sense? Similar to what Christopher said, “God needs us.” In other words, could the laws of physics exist without them and vice versa?

If the existence of the Cosmos is not a “miracle” then maybe the term is saturated.

In yet other words, if God can create the Cosmos, he can adjust it without breaking any rules. Example: if 2+2=4, then 2+3=5 without the slightest affect to the rules of mathematics. Whatever force caused the sea to part for Moses is only a different amount of what caused them to exist and remain in motion, and also of a similar nature to my thoughts which cause my fingers to type this.

6/30/2008 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Hi Julie,
I agree almost completely. We’re only in disagreement in their motive. I think they are simply "cashing in" on their constituents, “war for oil” core complaint. Anything “bad” related to the term “oil” is automatically assigned to those evil wepublicans who love war and oil. Just as anything they don’t like is. If the price of oil went down they’d say the wepubs were cashing in on the Iraqi oil. Who needs facts with short attention spans anyway?

6/30/2008 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray Ingles said "...this begs the question of how matter can have the capacity to encode any messages at all, for doesn't the capacity to do so transcend the properties of matter?"

Ooh! Hey Raccoons! I've got an idea for a new game... call it... um... RayBingo! (maybe Rayingo?)... As I was reading this in todays post, the thought came to me that "ah... betcha Ray comments on that one...", anyone else have any other guesses? Maybe we could open a separate game blog and enter your bets for what points Ray will land on... and the first to hit it right shouts (ok, comments) Rayingo!.

Ok, Poker is in no danger of being displaced, still... might be fun.

6/30/2008 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

From Ray's second link, "While inside the brain scanner, the students watched random letters stream across a screen. Whenever they felt the urge, they pressed a button with their right hand or a button with their left hand. Then they marked down the letter that had been on the screen in the instant they had decided to press the button.
Studying the brain behavior leading up to the moment of conscious decision, the researchers identified signals that let them know when the students had decided to move 10 seconds or so before the students knew it themselves. About 70% of the time, the researchers could also predict which button the students would push.
With co-author Giulio Tononi, Nobel laureate Gerald Edleman explores his biology-based theory of consciousness in A Universe Of Consciousness: How Matter Becomes Imagination."It's quite eerie," said Dr. Haynes."


Is that your idea of "Making Decisions" too, Ray?... Urges and reactions? I agree that's about as conceptually deep as most leftists are able to go... does that hold true (... oh... maybe I should say 'reactively probable' instead of 'true') for you too? That should be bookmarked right along with the one QP linked to on Friday... so typifies the myopic idiocy enabled by RD.

6/30/2008 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Julie and Mushroom - Randomness doesn't lead to meaning, sure. But, as has been noted before, randomness isn't all there is to evolution. There's also these rather solid - sometimes annoyingly so - laws of physics, that are kind of not random.

And randomness, combined with a non-random influence, can lead to non-random results. E.g. economics.

6/30/2008 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "Imagine if someone had told you on September 12th, 2001 that within eight years, the Republican party would be so unpopular that there was a very strong possibility that someone named Barack Hussein Obama could be elected President."

Personally, I made a similar prediction prior to the election... why? Because Bush was a political Republican (Compassionate Conservative, I think was the defining tip-off...), not a Principled Conservative. Would have happened before his 2nd term, if not for his 9/11 attitude adjustment. BTW, imagine if someone after 9/11/2001 had said that there would be no more attacks for the next seven years... I sure didn't guess that one.

"If Republicans are objectively better than Democrats... how could they make themselves that unpopular?"

Because they're political Republicans, not Principled Conservatives (Classical Liberals)

6/30/2008 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

I was very pleased to finally see a quote from Schuon -- The cosmos is a ‘message from God to Himself by Himself.’ -- that entered my mind without effort. The times they must be changin'.

Over/over/over it seems to me your disclaimers and disputers are using words that mean different things on different ontological levels. This sense is in accord with your statement:
"...our cosmos has the baffling property of vertical discontinuity, of "ontological leaps" to entirely different modes of being, e.g., Bupkis-->Matter-->Life-->Mind-->Spirit-->Meta-bupkis (there are others, but those are the big ones)..."

If you are speaking from the Top--->down (⇓) and they are filtering this through science, logic, reason, then of course the signal can't be received. They have their favorite programs and they're sticking with them!

But take your statement:
"...religion is none other than an awareness of the Absolute shining through the relative..."
Isn't the key to the verity of that statement "awareness"? For instance, if my awareness is (using your ontological model) on the level of "Life" while you are speaking from the perspective of "Spirit," then I have no idea what you are talking about -- so I dispute your claims. If my awareness grows to the level of "Mind," perhaps then I may begin to see evidence of what you are trying to express.

So if I am "serious about understanding," I have to figure out how to cultivate greater awareness.

Only then can I verify, for myself, your contention:
"...the True Unbroken Circle -- which is esoterically symbolized by the ring-tailed Raccoon with "circles 'round the eyes" -- is the Open Spiral that is grounded in the Alpha and Omega that we call -- not coincidentally -- O..."

Another example would be Julie's quote about Renunciation. To someone just living from "Life," the statement might well sound threatening, or crazy. To someone in-formed by "Spirit" the same idea rings true, like a low gong!

6/30/2008 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "And randomness, combined with a non-random influence, can lead to non-random results. E.g. economics."

Ray, there is nothing about Economics. Being unpredictable, does not make it random. Start with Say & Bastiat, jump to Hazlit, Friedman & Sowell (Hayek's good to, with a couple quibbles).

Hint - the quantities, measurements and index's are only measurements of what the Principles behind Economics reveal.

6/30/2008 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

BTW - don't assume that I'm in either the Republican or Democratic camp. I'm sort of libertarian-ish, but find different things in both 'major' parties laughable.

Of course, both 'major' parties irritate their own 'bases' pretty regularly. Julie's discussion eerily echoes some of the rants of the MoveOn types about the DNC, for example.

That doesn't mean Julie's wrong, I hasten to add. It's just interesting to note that parallels do exist.

What I'd be interested to see if there's any attempt on the conservative side to do some vote pairing to express dissatisfaction with McCain. But conservatives are probably too conservative to go for the alternate voting systems like the Borda Count or instant-runoff voting, much less approval voting. Ah, well.

6/30/2008 11:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Rabid said...

From Ray's article:

"Crick argued that traditional conceptualizations of the soul as a non-material being must be replaced by a materialistic understanding of how the brain produces mind"

Brain produces mind? Or is it the other way around, Mind ultimately produces brain? That is, all brain is mind, but not all mind is brain, which is why there can be continuity after the disintegration of the brain; the properties of mind are beyond our scientific grasp. But that doesn't mean that the hitherto empirically obscure properties of mind cannot be 'experienced', or disclosed by the subject himsoph. Exploration of our own subjectivity runs way ahead of our "material" understanding of it. And anyone who lives their life based only on the evidence that we have uncovered, fails to be the subject that they potentially are! Talk about a "great filter!"


Another:


"You, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules"

True enough, but what assembles those nerve endings and their associated molecules? Why do they "commune," literally talk and bond, with each other (this implies that they have a subjectively, no matter how dim)? Because it's the property, or animating principle, that acts as a medium for the cohesion of material that's truly living. Not so much the stuff within the "field." What vibration do these parts within myself conform to? And furthermore, what is the self, and how do I prove it to be? Those are the important questions.

People like this think that they are making some kind of profoundly deep statement, when they're really just stating the obvious without any explanation of why there's stuff moving around and organizing to begin with! Let alone why there's awareness of it all, awareness necessarily placing the subject in a more beyond category of identity than the 'stuff' that's being perceived.

6/30/2008 11:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Rabid said...

BTW, what's so special about Biggles?

6/30/2008 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Walt,

GoOongggggg....

6/30/2008 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van - Considering your Grandfather reference before, I think just "Ringo" would be a good name.

6/30/2008 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

ray said "BTW - don't assume that I'm in either the Republican or Democratic camp. I'm sort of libertarian-ish"

Ooh... (yawn)... the surprise ...

6/30/2008 11:21:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Shroom said;
"On the other hand, if the Democrat Congress is so smart how come gas is double what it was in '06?"

Julie said;
I can answer that one - because they want it to be.

And the DEMS! in Congress are working to capitalize on angy Americans to NATIONALIZE the output end of the fuel delivery system, the refineries. Now, with the DEMS! in charge of Congress and poised to take the White House and being beholden to the Global Warmists, do you think the outflow of fuel will be more or less if this happens? They'll have just another tool of manipulation to force us to conform to their view of how things should be.
To view the micromanaged future and more examples of the "do as I say, not as I do" hypocrisy of the elites, (read loss of freedom and liberty) google 'The Greenest Show on Earth' to see the future. Coming to a home near you.

6/30/2008 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

oops... "Ray, there is nothing about Economics" should have been "Ray, there is nothing random about Economics"


(Ray... not getting the 'Grandfather' reference. ?)

6/30/2008 11:25:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Ray said,

"Of course, both 'major' parties irritate their own 'bases' pretty regularly. Julie's discussion eerily echoes some of the rants of the MoveOn types about the DNC, for example.

That doesn't mean Julie's wrong, I hasten to add. It's just interesting to note that parallels do exist"

Name me one parralel where prominent Republicans actually go bodily and pander to right wing whackjobs as far off the political scale as the Democrats do with the Move On and Kos conventions.

6/30/2008 11:28:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Current Repubes (McCain) are actually pandering to leftist groups.

6/30/2008 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van - "urges and reactions" don't a theory make, just datapoints, just as no one astronomical observation demonstrated Newton's laws. Those particular points are a bit hard to reconcile with the prevailing theory here, that's all.

I only noted economics as an example where even conservatives say that complex organization can arise without central planning.

(Oh, and re: Grandfather - you forgot about this, apparently.)

Hoarhey - John Hagee, Jerry Falwell.

6/30/2008 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ah, yes I did... though if you'd mentiond him being "very clean" I would have gotten it... it's thin, but again, I'd say you grasped the datum, and missed the spirit(I suppose I could be just covering up...nyahhh, you missed it)

6/30/2008 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "I only noted economics as an example where even conservatives say that complex organization can arise without central planning."

Sorry to say that you missed the point again... but... conservatives (Classical Liberals) don't have any problem with complex organization arising without central planning - that is in fact central to the point they are making, it is the leftist which denies it, control freaks which they are, they can't imagine any 'intelligent' decisions occurring without their detailed involvement (ironically, nothing intelligent is likely to occur with their involvement).

What we deny is the possibility of intelligence, organization or any judgment at all arising from anything purely flat and merely material.

6/30/2008 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "Those particular points are a bit hard to reconcile with the prevailing theory here, that's all"

No, they're not... only as Rabid, Mushroom and Julie noted, it's your perspective upon it that is limiting, your assumption that that is the starting point of the decision, rather than the effect of the decison - the splash rather than the cannonball that splashed.

6/30/2008 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

"When we are aware of the Sun's light, it is not so much a matter of "straining" to see it, but simply removing the obstacles, clouds, or impurities that obscure it."

Dire column rising
filters white light into red
source untaintable*

6/30/2008 01:06:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Rabid,
On the chance you really want to know about "Biggles", here ya go:

Bob's comment on Saturday comes from the lyrics of "Thick As A Brick"

So! Where the hell was Biggles when you needed him last Saturday?
And where were all the sportsmen who always pulled you though?
They're all resting down in Cornwall --
writing up their memoirs for a paper-back edition
of the Boy Scout Manual.

Wiki "Biggles" for info, with links, on the 98 British Boy's Adventure books written between 1932 & 1997. Section entitled "Biggles in later popular culture" mentions all sorts places where Biggles shows up, including Monty Python, Dr Who & Austin Powers.

Much more Anglosphere than American.

6/30/2008 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Xim - I'm ashamed, having been such a big Tull fan back in the day - and didn't make the connection. I AM getting old.

6/30/2008 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

As penance, I'm only going to listen to Thick as a Brick for the next 3 days.

6/30/2008 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger QP said...

Julie,
Good concise answer to the ever rising price of gas. You wrote: "By taking measures to guarantee that gas prices remain high (through taxation and limited production), they can directly affect . . . ."

It's obvious to coons, the leftists want to affect a whole lot more than our modes of transportation. Peeps won't see the light about global warming, well let's couple global warming with peak oil, that'll produce some "heat". Hoarhey drew a real potential for the near future.

More to the point:
Why would the former Saudi Aramco No.2 exec be meeting with George Soros? I read "crisis tactics" have been devised and implemented.

From the WSJ: "Sadad al-Husseini and Nansen Saleri raced up the ranks at Saudi Aramco, the world's most powerful oil company, working together for years to squeeze more crude from Saudi Arabia's massive fields. Today, the two men have staked out opposite sides of a momentous industry debate.
[...]
Mr. Husseini, Aramco's second-in-command until 2004, says the world faces a brute reality of depleting resources and ever rising prices.
At the moment, Mr. Husseini's pessimistic view is clearly ascendant.

Mr. Husseini, now an independent consultant, has jetted around the world spreading his views, including recently over dinner with George Soros and a clutch of other top financiers.

Mr. Husseini, 61 years old, lives across the street from the Saudi oil minister, Ali Naimi, in a leafy neighborhood of Dhahran, the Aramco company town on Saudi Arabia's east coast. The suave but sharply opinionated petroleum geologist says most of the big oil repositories have been found, and no amount of gadgetry will restore bubbly youth to aging fields from Indonesia to the Gulf of Mexico." #

The free market system for oil is being deformed by 30 years of Congressional production restrictions, OPEC and Leftist elites.

6/30/2008 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh - now this is interesting (via Siggy). I have to admit, if I spoke Farsi and had the task of translating The Secret, I'd be extremely tempted to alter the meaning...

6/30/2008 06:23:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Don't feel bad Nomo, my instant recognition was based on where I was raised & what English language stuff was available in Argentina: more UK, little US.
Beatles, Stones, Zeppelin, Tull. Choices being so limited compared to the US market one listened so often as to be able to sing the albums thru in song-order, even to this day. (Beaky luvs Thick As A Brick & goes nuts for Ian's flute, so I play it for her regularly)

English language book-stores catered to Anglo-Argentines, who's schools preped them for the UK university system. They were considered dual-citizens (same with Francos/Germans/Italians) & were free to swap counties for education or work. You can see this with World Cup Soccer, when there are questions as to which country's team a dual-national will choose.

US reading material was limited to occasional comics (highly prized) & blockbuster novels (who cares), while UK series like Biggles & Georgette Heyer were readily available - read all GH & still own copies of all 48, but rarely find Americans who've ever heard of either author.

6/30/2008 08:42:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Oops, that last bit reads funny...
W.E. Johns was author of Biggles series.

6/30/2008 08:51:00 PM  
Blogger QP said...

Bret Stephens writes today in his WSJ article: Global Warming as Mass Neurosis:

[...] "So let's stop fussing about the interpretation of ice core samples from the South Pole and temperature readings in the troposphere. The real place where discussions of global warming belong is in the realm of belief, and particularly the motives for belief. I see three mutually compatible explanations.

The first is as a vehicle of ideological convenience. Socialism may have failed as an economic theory, but global warming alarmism, with its dire warnings about the consequences of industry and consumerism, is equally a rebuke to capitalism."

Full article.

7/01/2008 06:35:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van - Some of those splashes must go backward in time, then. That's cool, but it seems like we'd be able to get some utility out of that. Imagine a helmet that warns a soldier ten seconds in advance that he's going to dodge a bullet... :->

Though, actually, they are working on something at least a little bit in that direction.

7/01/2008 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray Ingles said "Van - Some of those splashes must go backward in time, then"

Maybe I can put it in terms a flatlander can understand (probably not, but maybe)....

Ray: Light switches cause the lights to turn on and off. Here's proof, we can use cool technology to see through the outer wall of the house, and actually see the walls, switches and circuits... and look, here's proof that the light switch flicks up or down before the light bulb shines or goes dark!

Me: Duh, someone is flicking the light switch on or off.

Ray: Some of those flicks must go backward in time, that's cool (snicker, snicker)

Me: maybe I can put it in terms a flatlander can understand (probably not, but maybe)...Ray, someone lives in the house and is actualling flicking the light switch on or off.

Ray: As if there were someone living there?! The idea that someone turned on the switch is just crazy talk...! Light switches are what cause the lights to go on and off! Look at the study!

Me: Ray, turn out the lights and go home.

7/01/2008 08:25:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

(anticipating the next round)

Ray: Nyahhh! Look! Here's a study that proves that the windows let the light shine out of the house, but the lightswitch is what turns on the lightbulb and that is what makes the light shine out of the windows... no way the window could make the light turn on before the switch was flicked! See!

Me: Ray... someone lives in the house... someone cleans the windows... someone flicks the lights on and off... Ray... that someone is you.

Ray: Me...! No way, look, I'm perfectly happy and comfortable with the idea of the beautiful electromagnetic physics of light switches and curtain rods... I don't need any idea of a 'homeowner'... ya'll are too limited... you aren't able to see the beauty of Light Switches!

Me: sigh.

7/01/2008 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van - You kinda diverged from where the conversation was going, I'm afraid.

Van: Duh, someone is flicking the light switch on or off. We don't deny that light switches are material, just that some an immaterial conscious being must flick them.

Ray: Except the immaterial consciousness lags the material switch. Indeed, that immaterial consciousness often 'backdates' experiences. It's as if conscious experience is being "knitted" out of multiple resources.

Van: Now you're denying consciousness itself!

Ray: No, just the immaterial nature thereof. Something's there, but its actual nature is a lot more complex than our current theories, just as the theory of 'humors' , though accepted medicine for centuries, was inadequate. (Indeed, even the example I linked to above about 'backdating' points out models of this phenomenon that don't dispute 'free will'.)

It's not a house with nobody home, but it's a house where the dweller is built out of what happens in the home.

Van: But somebody's there!

Ray: I know. It's just not the kind of person you think they are.

Van: You just don't understand!

Ray: Sigh. At least I'm very clean.

7/01/2008 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray... Missed it again... your idea of consciousness is the Window, mine the dweller. IT precedes, not lags, the switching.

While you're washing the windows, I'm upstairs taking a shower... and I Am hence much cleaner than you.


BTW, even keeping within an atheistic view, the immaterial mind precedes... or at least directs the material brain, of which the 'switching' is but the first visible indication of thought. It shouldn't take any great leap to realize that the soul, mortal or immortal, depending upon your perception, is behind the wetware. The objectivists, light years ahead of you in the atheistic consistency department, get that. Your stubborn adherence to materialism is just souperstition.

7/01/2008 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

BTW, even on the level of the 'facts' of the 'study'... its conclusions are laughably contrived. Even if you bought the dumbed down view of a determined consciousness... there is no way to identify the detected activity as being that of the solution or determined 'choice', more likely it is merely similar to the resultset returned from a Database query, data only, it still takes the 'user' to evaluate whether or not to 'go with' that as the answer.

''

7/01/2008 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van - take a look at the link about 'backdating' I gave. It explicitly mentions that notion. But the backdating makes things more complicated...

7/01/2008 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

From Ray's link "The subject should feel that he/she wanted to do it, on her/his own initiative, and feel he could control what is being done, when to do it or not to do it. Many actions lack this second attribute. ... Unconsciously it has checked the plan for our journey and has doubts whether we will arrive in time if we make a break. Our brain has to come to a decision. What's better, to stop or not to stop? Within milliseconds the brain decides to stop, and it gives order to register and to brake. All that happens unconscious. Only 200 milliseconds later this decision becomes conscious (and - being trained philosophers - we deeply become convinced that this was our free will) "

I didn't bother the first time because of the "See Jane Run" size of the font... I should have stuck with that estimation. Have you read Wundt's (they've misspelled his name... not surprising... Wundt's Clock, it's Wilhelm Wundt, wiki give a better summation of your link's info) other conclusions? How they formed a root basis for 'modern educational methods'? I hope you'd find them disagreeable... but maybe not. If you are willing to accept the study of such low level, near perceptual level mental activities as accurate and worthy measurements of human judgment or of "Free Will", you may have none left to free. Ray, maybe you should just pull the drapes closed and go to sleep. Maybe you have. You go ahead and keep staring out the windows, eyes wide asleep, I'll continue to shower and come out scrubbin' clean.

... argh...being a flogger is such a pain.

It is obvious that there is a deep interaction between mind and brain, the development of manual skill's are likely an establishment of neural macro's refined by repetition and 'saved to disc' to require less and less conscious control or involvement, and any perceptive judgment based upon them will be involved in them – not seeing neuronal activity at the root of mental activity would be the greater surprise. Even character traits, virtuous or not, become largely automatic responses based upon repetition and developed character "I didn't even think, I just acted". Any experiment you'd like to conduct requiring or involving learned or reactive responses are going to show this (go back to Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics) .

What your physiologically useful, but philosophically juvenile, experiments are not going to have any relevance for, is true judgment, judging whether or not it is wise to allow your child to go to a concert without supervision, is someone competent to lead the free world, a gem of a Poem or even what the meaning of 'IS' is - let alone anything regarding what the nature of the self being reflected is when deeply involved in a process of contemplative self reflection. I've no doubt that you actually could find some, a disturbingly large amount of people it seems, who would 'answer' those questions nearly autonomically, based upon environmental indicators, comfort levels and what others do. But that only indicates that becoming fully human is still not an automatic, stimulus-response process. It is the result of ever deepening conscious consideration of the full material and spiritual perspective, not only of the world without, but of within as well.

Good luck finding that in your silly experiments. God help you if someone does manage to fudge it.

The fitting summation at the end says it all, "The philosopher David Hume pointed out that events that are close together in space and time are more likely than spatio-temporally distant events to be perceived as causally related. With certain assumptions about the prior probabilities, it follows from Bayes’ equation that events known to be causally related are more likely to be close in time and space than unrelated events."

There really is nothing more to say to you. To paraphrase, you've chosen (and the jokes on you) to remain blind, because you can see —deaf, because you can hear—deluded, because you have a mind—and claim that the sense of self you perceive does not exist, because you perceive 'it'.

A pity Hume's ideas of cause and effect were wrong... had he been right, the world might have been spared so much. Your far from clean Ray. Here, start from scratch with some comfortingly atheistic acid washing. Mere conceptual soap and water isn't going to get your mind clean. Philosophy: Who Needs It. Who does? Most definitely, you do.

7/01/2008 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van, it looks like I actually did peg the conversation pretty well. You say that I "claim that the sense of self you perceive does not exist, because you perceive 'it'."

As I said:
Van: Now you're denying consciousness itself!

Ray: No, just the immaterial nature thereof.


I didn't say that there's a whole worked out theory of consciousness yet. It's a 'hypothesis', based on some suggestive but by no means conclusive data.

7/01/2008 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "As I said:
Van: Now you're denying consciousness itself!
Ray: No, just the immaterial nature thereof."

Ray, consciousness is immaterial, whether as a 'field' arising from natural processes (objectivist) or as a soul (theists), it is immaterial. To argue for it being a material set of biological abacuses is to not only not understand consciousness, but to misunderstand the nature and properties of material as well... a determined myopia arguing for its pet perpetual motion machine.

Too tedious... I'd rather argue with a flat earther than a flat minder.

7/02/2008 05:45:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van: Ray, consciousness is immaterial, whether as a 'field' arising from natural processes (objectivist) or as a soul (theists), it is immaterial.

Or as a pattern or organization or process of material things. Like, say, a waterfall or a tornado isn't a "thing" per se but something water does. That doesn't mean that waterfalls or tornadoes aren't real - they can kill you - but that also doesn't mean they are 'fields' or spiritual in nature.

7/02/2008 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "Like, say, a waterfall or a tornado isn't a "thing" per se but something water does."

Careful Ray, I think that tornado's blowing all your straw out the window.
You see no fundamental difference between a waterfall and....

I can't. I finally see that there is no point to this. Say hello to the tornadoes when you have them over for dinner.

7/02/2008 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Van - A simile is like a metaphor for an analogy.

7/03/2008 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray,
An error is like a mistaken use of ignorance.

By any other name, foolishness would smell the same.

7/03/2008 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

(not very clean)

7/03/2008 11:06:00 AM  

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